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Rescue Dive Team
The search for Xianna Fairchild, a missing Vallejo girl, marked the beginning of the Solano County Dive Rescue Team. Since that time the dive team has experienced some major changes, support and growth.
The Team is a multi-aency task force comprised of the Solano County Sheriffs Office, The Office of Emergency Services and the Vacaville Fire Protection District. Currently the team is made up of twenty members that include four team leaders and fall under the direction of Team Supervisor Jimmie McCants, a 19 year veteran of the Sheriffs Office. These dedicated team members are all affiliated with OES, local law enforcement and fire. Each member has taken the opportunity to volunteer their time and talent to serve the community in a moments notice and strive for the team effort.
One day a month is set aside for training purposes at which time the team trains in rescue/recovery and will soon include swift water rescue. Training is held at several different locations depending upon the current needs of the scenario situation. The team worked with the Alameda County Dive Team and assisted in searching in the Laci Peterson case. In the last two years the team has been activated for approximately thirty call outs that included many mutual aid requests. The dive team also works in conjunction with Marine Patrol in water safety and prevention.
The team is grateful for the equipment donations and support they have received. Chief Howard Wood with the Vacaville Fire Protection District donated the dive team's trailer. This trailer is specially equipped to accommodate the many pieces of equipment necessary for a dive team mission. A special thank you to the many local businesses such as Lowes Home Improvement, Wes Los RV, Linex, Pacific Reef SCUBA, and Oceanic Dive Equipment. Their generosity, kindness and support are truly appreciated!
The success or failure of any search conducted underwater is affected by a multitude of factors. Those in particular being surface conditions, underwater visibility, depth, bottom composition and vegetation, accessibility, tides, accuracy of bearings, water temperatures, and pollution etc. None of the listed factors can be controlled by the searchers. Only one aspect of an underwater search that can be controlled is a well planned, methodical search effort to ensure efficiency. An organized team is the difference between a successful mission and "bunch of guys doing their own thing in the water".